High Court Dismisses Application For Continuation of Kasese Vote Recount

2557 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Two NRM party losers in the February Parliamentary elections have suffered a set back after the High Court dismissed their application for continuation of a recount.

High court in Fort Portal has dismissed two applications for the continuation of the vote recount for Kasese District Woman MP and Bukonzo parliamentary seats.
Last week, Rehema Muhindo, a loser of Kasese District MP seat and Fred Businge, the loser for the Bukonzo MP elections petitioned high court demanding for the continuation of the vote recount exercise.
The duo applied to court after Charles Serbuga, Kasese Chief Magistrate stopped the vote recount exercise after discovering that the elections materials were tempered with.
Delivering the ruling this morning to a fully packed court, Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama said that he can not order for the vote recount exercise to continue because the names of the winners have already been published in the national gazette.

Byabakama also noted that in the first place, it was even wrong for the Kasese Chief Magistrate to order for the recount because the Electoral Commission had already declared Kiiza and Bihande winners.
 He said that the application of the recount was filed four days after the results were published.  Prior to the ruling, Byabakama cautioned supporters of the both parties to remain calm not to disrupt court proceedings after the ruling has been delivered.  

According to the judge, the application for a recount would have been tenable if the returning officer had not transmitted the results to the electoral commission. He said that the losers should have filed an election petition and not a vote recount.

Byabakama noted that the law gives the aggrieved person a right but then takes it away at the same time. He said that if the law gives losers seven days to apply for a recount, then the winner should also be declared within seven days and not forty eight hours, as stated in the Electoral Commission Act.  

He proposed that the law should be amended in future or else there will be more applications of vote recounts even after the electoral commission has declared a winner.

After the ruling, Kizza and Bihande hugged each other in court amidst cheering from their supporters. They then proceeded to Kasese in a convoy of more than ten vehicles flashing the FDC party symbol. Victor Asiimwe, the lawyer representing Businge and Muhindo said that they will appeal against the ruling.

But in an interview with Uganda Radio Network, Kizza says that she is ready for the court of appeal and the appeal will be quashed. She also said that her rival wasted time applying for a recount after losing the election.  

//Cue in: I am so happy…”

Cue out: “…for all the Ugandans.”//   

Last week, the case took a new twist when lawyers of the losers filed another petition even before the ruling had been delivered. 


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.